The United Workers Party (UWP) leader makes sense” is a headline I never thought I’d be able to write in the foreseeable future.
However, the UWP in question is the United Workers Party in Dominica, not Saint Lucia – the customary focus of many of my commentaries.
And, compared to his UWP counterpart Allen Chastanet in Saint Lucia, Lennox Linton, the UWP leader in Dominica, makes a lot of sense.
Following the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) heads of government meeting in Roseau last week, Linton called on Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to clear the way for a single Caribbean candidate for the post of Commonwealth secretary general in the person of Antigua and Barbuda’s nominee Sir Ronald Sanders, who has already secured the support of a majority of member countries in the region.
Linton also called on Skerrit to disclose whether or not Dominica has been compromised by outside influence to nominate the British Baroness Patricia Scotland, an active member of the British Parliament, whose dominant and effective nationality is patently and obviously British.
The unfortunate situation is that Dominica looks like only a pawn in a big game and that there must be some as yet undisclosed financial or other inducement for Skerrit and/or his government, leading to the unanswered question as to whether Caribbean governments or Caribbean institutions are being used for someone else’s purpose. The answer to that may never be known, even after the selection of a new secretary general, which will take place on Friday following the opening of the November 27-29 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta. In the meantime, OECS chairman, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada, and his colleague, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris have urged Caribbean leaders to settle on a single candidate to increase the region’s chance of winning and to reinforce the OECS sub-region as a single space within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Indeed, the region must wake up to shape its own regional and international interest; break the cycle of individualism, and abandon pettiness that stifles regional integration, in order to shape agendas with the use of combined political and socio-economic engagement. The candidacy of Sir Ronald Sanders provides that opportunity and to project the opinions, values and collective strength of the region. But, after ostensibly consulting with his Cabinet, Skerrit has confirmed that Dominica still stands fully behind the former UK attorney general and sitting member of the British parliament, Baroness Scotland.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) www.lpmstlucia.com critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at email@example.com